According to Next Generation Accountant: A New Outlook on a Timeless Profession, a new research guide from Robert Half International, the career outlook today is brighter than ever for accounting and finance professionals. Public and private companies, accounting firms, government agencies and nonprofits all have broad-based needs for those whose knowledge ranges from the general to the highly specific, particularly in the following areas:
- General accounting - Organizations need staff accountants to handle activities ranging from processing journal entries to performing account analysis and reconciliation and preparing tax filings. Firms also are hiring senior accountants to manage more complex projects, such as budgeting, preparing financial statements and conducting risk assessments. Accountants with knowledge of SEC reporting requirements are in especially strong demand.
- Financial analysis - Professionals who can evaluate financial data, identify trends and anomalies, and participate in forecasting and budgeting are highly sought. These individuals may also be called upon to help their companies find ways to improve profitability or provide support for strategic decisions.
- Internal auditing - In an effort to improve accountability throughout the company by maximizing internal control, risk management and corporate governance processes, both public and private companies are expected to continue hiring aggressively in the internal audit area.
- International accounting - Foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges and overseas subsidiaries of U.S. companies must also comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, fueling the need for accountants with knowledge of these regulations who can work successfully in an international environment. Those who can speak a second language are particularly sought after. In addition, companies adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) need accountants with knowledge of international accounting rules who can help them make the transition to new standards.
- Forensic accounting - As corporate fraud has become more complex to identify and unravel, the need for accountants with specialized forensic skills continues to increase. Forensic accountants are trained to help prevent and detect corporate financial misdeeds such as embezzlement, securities fraud, tax scams and money laundering.
This article was provided by Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International, Inc. As the industry leader and expert in temporary financial staffing, the company provides an array of resources to job seekers, including salary data, job search tips, advice on which skills are in demand, and online courses providing continuing professional education credits. Accountemps has more than 330 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.